Deloitte and the 30% Club research boards of the future

Deloitte Australia and the 30% Club Australia (launched in May 2015 with the primary objective of campaigning for 30 per cent women on ASX200 boards) engaged with 31 leading members of the board community, plus representatives from investors and executive search firms, to capture their perspectives on the skills and capabilities required by the boards of the future and explore how diversity fits into this picture.

Against a backdrop of pandemic, cyber threats, trade wars, climate activism, heightened geopolitical tensions and growing trust deficit between citizens and governments, how can boards of the future be better equipped to navigate the new challenges, and ready to maximise opportunities?

The Bold moves in the boardroom report shows that:

  1. a new operating environment requires greater diversity of thinking
  2. future fit boards need strong governance foundations, plus a broader set of skills and capabilities
  3. to find future fit directors, boards must look further afield
  4. pushing into new territory requires a proactive and supportive chair.

Chairman of Deloitte Australia, Tom Imbesi said: “We are delighted to share a summary of great stories, ideas and insights from members of our board community who not only see the value of diversity of thought – and diversity of all kinds – but are challenging the long-held limitations on board composition and culture that are ripe for reform.”

You can access further information and download the report here.

BT Super and Mercer Super announce planned merger

The BT Super Board and Mercer have announced they have signed a Heads of Agreement to merge BT’s Personal and Corporate superannuation funds into the Mercer Super Trust to create a $65 billion superannuation fund helping more than 850,000 Australians to invest for and support their retirement.

BT Super Chair, Gai McGrath, and Mercer President Pacific Region and CEO Australia, David Bryant, welcomed the agreement which will result in significant benefits to the superannuation members of both organisations.

McGrath said: “The Trustee engaged broadly across the industry and after a robust and competitive process this merger will create a larger superannuation fund with the potential to deliver improved performance, lower fees, and broader member services. It also maintains continuity of knowledge and service for BT Super members”.

“Mercer, whose multi-manager funds manage more than A$500bn in assets globally, has been a retirement and investment specialist in Australia for more than 40 years. They are well placed to support our BT Super members and participating employers into the future.”

Global equities are the most popular recent fund launches

The last one hundred funds launched by Equity Trustees, specialist provider of independent responsible entity and trustee services, have shown global equities to be the most popular, with a sharp rise in ESG-themed funds.

‘The 100’ is a new body of research developed by Equity Trustees this year that found the majority (34%) of funds brought to market over the past 24 months were global equity funds. This was followed by (Global and Domestic) fixed income (17%), Australian equities (16%), and multi-asset funds (12%).

While the analysis found that the majority (83%) of funds had no primary theme, of those that did, 9% had an environment, social and governance (ESG) theme, with 4% having sustainable development goals, 3% ultra-ethical code of governance (Sharia compliant) and 1% themed carbon neutral.

“This was a significant jump compared to previous years and today we are seeing a large variety of ESG-orientated investment strategies being developed. We expect to see this theme to continue as we push towards a carbon neutral world by 2050” said Mick O’Brien, Managing Director at Equity Trustees.